Sidney Stretz


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A Conversation About...Something



"A Conversation About…Something" was conceptualized after overhearing a conversation between two gentlemen in the airport traveling from New York to North Carolina. These men discussed their plans and duties once they returned home, which included repairs on an old truck. Details of this brief encounter were vaguely recorded, and then passed on to two actors. These actors were then asked to recreate the interaction completely through improvisation.




This secondary conversation was recorded and transcribed into a script. Participants are asked to interact with the conversation one of three ways. They can recreate the conversation themselves through provided dialogue, listen to audio as if they too were overhearing the conversation, or read scrolling text in a video projection. Participants are also welcome to share vague details of conversations they themselves overheard in a public setting, to later be use for further conversations.

These participatory reenactments of a reenactment mimic the sequence in which words travel and are diluted throughout everyday life, much like a more complex version of the game telephone. These false conversations also begin to question privacy and impression, as very little is known about these two men and their original conversation. Their characters are continuously altered and propagated.

This project creates a situation for the audience to question their relationship to overheard conversations and how conversations operate within the world.




A Conversation About…Something asks those participating to slow down and reroute their interpretation of everyday situations. How can one react differently or consider an alternate possibility? Individuals are placed in someone else’s shoes and asked to consider that character’s frame of mind. Inviting the audience to become a character they may not consider themselves to be allows for an opportunity for them to discover other facets of who they are.











A Conversation About Trucks



TRAVELER #1

Yeah. What?


TRAVELER #2

Oh Hey.


TRAVELER #1

Hey.


TRAVELER #2

Cause You're Awake. Its a long way. Um. You got any plans when you get back home?

TRAVELER #1

Well, I know I have to fix the old truck. Again.

TRAVELER #2

What the Ford?

TRAVELER #1

Yeah.

TRAVELER #2

Found on Road Dead. (subtle laughter)

TRAVELER #1

Yeh. First on Race Day.

TRAVELER #2

(Delayed)

Uh eh well. When Barney Oldfield was driving?

TRAVELER #1

(Laughter)

Prolly. What did Richard Petty

drive? Did he drive a...What'd he drive?

TRAVELER #2

He drove... a Plymouth for the most part.

TRAVELER #1


Well…uh…





Mopar.






TRAVELER #2


TRAVELER #1

So he's a Mopar man? '43 was the Mopar?

TRAVELER #2

Yeah. Well. Had decent tail… He switched to Buicks…uhhhhhh the late '70's.

TRAVELER #1

They don't make none of them no more. Now they make. Plymouths is gonna… Now they make Camrys which ain't no, I ain't seen no NASCAR engine in a Camry at the Toyota dealership. I don't know about you but they don't...shit makes any sense to me.

TRAVELER #2

Can I ask you a question?

TRAVELER #1

Well, sure.

TRAVELER #2

What were you doing at a Toyota dealership?

TRAVELER #1

I was trying to get my Ford truck fixed.

TRAVELER #2

At a Toyota dealership?

TRAVELER #1

Well they sell Fords too. (pause)

I was just at the wrong end.

TRAVELER #2

Yeah. Whatever.

TRAVELER #1

Well don't get up and leave!


TRAVELER #2

No, no I'm just just…it's Obama probably. Toyotas mixing with Fords. I doesn’t…yeh you. Trucks of a feather ya know?

TRAVELER #1

Trucks of a feather vote together?

TRAVELER #2

Oh what's wrong with your truck?

TRAVELER #1

Well its got a…it’s got a couple problems ya know. It’s. It’s old.

TRAVELER #2

First one being it’s a Ford.

TRAVELER #1

Eh Yeah. I I don't know. It’s been a pretty good old truck. It’s hot. Its got some holes in it I gotta fix and…and it uh you know it runs pretty good but…uh…I think I got a problem with the, with the carburetor or something.

TRAVELER #2

You got the holly on there?

TRAVELER #1


Mmhmm.





Four?






TRAVELER #2





TRAVELER #1


No it’s just a little two-barrel. Its not a...It’s not the four-barrel. I need to do that, that’s one of the problems I got is...

TRAVELER #2

Uh my Chevy had a Rochester quadrajet.

TRAVELER #1

It’s uh...


TRAVELER #2

I built that in my kitchen sink!

TRAVELER #1

Did ya?

TRAVELER #2

Yeahuh. My wife was REAL happy about that.

TRAVELER #1

(Laughs)

I rebuilt a quadrajet in my bedroom when I was a teenager.

TRAVELER #2

I tried putting it in the dishwasher.

(laughs)

That did not work.

TRAVELER #1

My mother was not pleased with me. From the stink. But I got it done. I put it back together. It went into a Camaro. (Sighs)

That was a long time ago…

TRAVELER #2

Now that was before you started buying them foreign cars right?

TRAVELER #1

Uhhhuhh. Yep.

TRAVELER #2

One of them little, them little Japanese convertibles?

TRAVELER #1

Yehuhhh. You mean like a Triumph?

TRAVELER #2

Yeah? Chinese car.

TRAVELER #1

Their Chinese yeah...its Chinese. Like an MG.

TRAVELER #2

Eh. Lead Paint.


TRAVELER #1

Pomeranians. Big. Yeah.

TRAVELER #2

Pomeranians?! Isn't that a cat?

TRAVELER #1

(Laughs loudly)

I don't know...is it a cat?!

(more laughter)

TRAVELER #2

Ohh man. It’s been a long, long day and this is a long flight.

TRAVELER #1

I don't know why it takes so long to fly somewhere when you coulda driven in four hours.

TRAVELER #2

Well its because Obama won't fix the terrorist problem.

TRAVELER #1

Is that what it is?

TRAVELER #2

Yeah. He probably drives a Toyota too.

TRAVELER #1

He does. What kinda car does Trump drive?

TRAVELER #2

Toyota.

TRAVELER #1

Welp…Does Trump drive a car? Or does he have…

TRAVELER #2

Heh…He has someone drive for him.

TRAVELER #1

But, is it one of them uh, what what is...

TRAVELER #2

Stretch Hummer.


TRAVELER #1

(Laughs)

Is it a stretch Hummer? Or what…what do they call those Mercedes things that er, that er ‘cause Mercedes wasn't GOOD enough. They, they had to do one step better. It’s a my-my-may-back?

TRAVELER #2

Its, its a Maybach.

TRAVELER #1

What? Maybatch? Maybatch what does that mean?

TRAVELER #2

They made them, they made them back that was one original uh I think they’s a coach builder back...

TRAVELER #1

Maybach?

TRAVELER #2

I think so. You know?

TRAVELER #1

Like Fisher?

TRAVELER #2

Yeah. Like Fisher auto. Yeah.

TRAVELER #1

‘Cause Fisher used to make Cadillac bodies.

TRAVELER #2

Custom…

TRAVELER #1

Yeah. When Cadillacs were…cars.

TRAVELER #2

When they were real and…had a frame. You know that’s what…actually what happened, what went wrong with the American auto industry is they did away with frames.

TRAVELER #1

Oh yeah?


TRAVELER #2

Yeah. Well the unibody you can't replace...I mean…pshhh…replace the whole car but you can't…




Well I…


TRAVELER #1





TRAVELER #2


Remember you could put a fender on there?

TRAVELER #1

My truck's got a frame.

TRAVELER #2

Yeah.

TRAVELER #1

Why you reckon it runs bad?

TRAVELER #2

Carburetor. Ain't a Rochester.

TRAVELER #1

You can't put a Rochester on a Ford engine I don't think…maybe you can. Maybe I could! Maybe I should put a Chevy engine in that truck frame.

TRAVELER #2

Who does your I.T. work?

TRAVELER #1

What?

TRAVELER #2

You know…the internal transmission.

TRAVELER #1

Oh! Um…well its, it’s that feller Bob. Down there on…




Bob.com?


TRAVELER #2





TRAVELER #1


Bob dot. (laughs)

Bobtransmission.com


TRAVELER #2

Yeah. Well what’s? Yeah. Dotcom. I'll look him up. When I get back.

TRAVELER #1

You probably should. Why you got transmission trouble?

TRAVELER #2

Well I don't have…

TRAVELER #1

In your Chevy?

TRAVELER #2

Heh Heh Heh. It's a GMC son.

TRAVELER #1

Ah. Got Mechanic coming.

TRAVELER #2

Mmhmm. Mines going good, no carburetor problem there.

TRAVELER #2

It must be new. Them new-fangled things. I can't work on them.

TRAVELER #2


1998.





That's new.






TRAVELER #1





TRAVELER #2


Mmhmm. Only got 230,000 miles on it.

TRAVELER #1

That’s, hell, that's brand new!

TRAVELER #2

I know! It ain't broke in yet!

TRAVELER #1

No, hell that’s good. That’s good. Hmm. Well...

TRAVELER #2

Still got that dog?























© Sidney Stretz 2017